Your summary cannot include all the details of the original essay, but you should include a statement of the original thesis or claim, the main supporting points, and enough detail to make clear why the original authors held the views they did. (Typically, summaries are no longer than 30% of the original essay's length.) Using your own words rather than quoting extensively is more effective when summarizing; when you quote words, phrases, or sentences, be sure to use quotation marks. If the essay you're summarizing is not an argument, make clear what the original author's purpose was. You should also note the original audience for the essay if you can determine that.
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